Mar 6, 2021 - Technology

COVID vaccine selfies provide needed dose of hope

Bryan Walsh's parents after getting their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Bryan Walsh's parents after getting their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Photo: Bryan Walsh's mother

People are lighting up social media with COVID-19 vaccination selfies.

Why it matters: After a long, hard year with COVID-19, vaccine selfies offer a much-needed dose of hope — and act as an advertisement for those on the fence about getting vaccinated.

What's happening: About 54 million people in the U.S. have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, and you could be forgiven for thinking that nearly all of them are on your social media feed.

What they're saying: Vaccine selfies are a "sign that we just might be able to get things together again," journalist Maya Kosoff wrote in the Washington Post this week.

The other side: Some critics argue it's bad form to post vaccine selfies, given both the sheer number of people who have died from COVID-19 and the fact that distribution of the vaccine is still wildly unequal.

  • And it's definitely a bad idea to include your vaccination card in any vaccine selfie you post online, as it could expose you to identity theft.

Yes, but: As manufacturing ramps up, the challenge around vaccine distribution will move from one of supply to one of demand.

  • New survey data from Pew Research Center indicates 69% of the U.S. public intends to get vaccinated or already has.
  • That's up significantly from 60% in November, but it still leaves a large chunk of the country — especially white Republicans — who need to be convinced.
  • Given that fact, vaccine selfies seem less like showing off on social media than playing a pro-social part in normalizing vaccination.

The bottom line: Whatever you do after you get your vaccine, you'll have a hard time beating Gurdeep Pandher, who posted a video of himself dancing Bhangra in the Yukon after receiving his first dose.

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